Sunday, 5 July 2009

Mapuche Dining, 22 June 2009

The Mapuche tribe are the indiginous tribe to Southern Chile and Argentina. The town of Curarrehue close to Pucon is home to the largest surviving community of the Mapuche tribe. Jess and I decided to jump on a bus and go visit.

We made our way to the Museum in the Curarrehue (there is little else there) and we were both raring to learn about Mapuche culture. It was lovely and warm inside the museum, but we were incredibly disappointed to discover that every word was in Spanish. It was impossible for us to undertand but we wandered round the museum looking at the old photographs and crafts that were typical of the Mapuche tribe. There were some beautiful woven pieces. We didn´t stay there for very long, but as we headed out we fell across a traditional Mapuche Kitchen. It was time for lunch so we decided to go in.

Now, I´ve not been impressed with food in Chile at all. Traditional variants of Shepherds Pie and Quiches are just not that interesting. I´ve since discovered that the best Chileno cuisine can be found in the home, and that restaurants never serve up the veritable delights of Chileno Home Cooking. But, the food in this Mapuche kitchen was quite simply delightful!

First course was hot oat scone type things served with a variety of jams and spreads. We couldn´t work out what flavour these were and the chef/waiter didn´t know the name of the fruit in English, but we worked out that it was a fruit that grew locally that was easily acessible in Mapuche areas. This was followed by a spectacular broth absolutely filled with vegetables. It was gorgeous. We were then given some more oat scones which we savoured with every mouthful.

I should have bought some of the jam, it was just so good, but it wouldn´t have been so practical to lug around in my rucksack.

Best meal in Chile! FACT!

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